Interesting analogy i.e. newtonian vs. einsteinian metaphysics
It is a much made mistake in not properly making the right 'scale' and
the corresponding 'point of view' in analyzing and reflecting upon
'worldly' matters within a 'mental' framework
So much of the analog/digital paradigmatical remarks will fail because
of not 'fitting' in the 'right' context
Andreas Maria Jacobs
On Mar 27, 2011, at 15:30, Curt Cloninger <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi Danny,
> On Thursday, I responded to your previous post, but I can only
> assume my response got moderated, for what reason I'm not sure. I
> am copying you directly on this response as well as sending it to
> the list. Below is that prior response:
> I'm no expert on Kant either, but here Shaviro is revisiting Kant's
> third critique and focusing on aesthetic judgment, which he claims
> problematizes and threatens to undo all of Kant's categorizing thus
> far. Aesthetic judgment isn't based on any prior conceptual
> criteria, so it is not bound by ethics or reason. This is why
> aesthetic judgment can't be universally subjective (there are no
> universal categories or concepts upon which it could be based).
> Aesthetic judgment is more like a lived, affective relationship
> between a human and something in the world.
> I brought this up not to talk about Kant per se, but to agree with
> Latour (via Ryan Griffis) that there can be a fruitful space of
> dialogue between objective science and subjective speculative
> philosophy that is suggested as least as far back as Kant (and
> incidentally, is suggested in the context of art).
> When I say "we're back at Derrida," I don't mean we're back at
> Derrida always talking about physics (although that would be
> delirious to read). I mean we're back at Derrida's mojo of using
> language and analogy to find creative points of slippage between
> "objective" facts and where they lead via Grammatological play. What
> might Derrida make, for instance, of the practice of speaking of the
> analog analogically? I don't think there is anything wrong with
> Derrida's mojo; I'm just pointing out that it moves us beyond
> "objective" science.
> I don't mind (I grudgingly respect) Derrida, I just think he makes a
> scatalogical art critic. He tends to use the art work as a launching
> pad for word play, and his art critical essays wind up more
> concerned with language than with the art itself. Hence, "a trap."
> The difference between art making and art writing is that art itself
> is able to engage with physics in ways that are not subject to
> semiotic or linguistic "regimes" (to use Deleuze's term).
> Furthermore (and this point has not really been addressed in our
> dialogue here), what physics is doing at at sub-atomic levels may
> not be directly relevant to scales and speeds of new media art
> production and curating (except via metaphor and analogy). As an
> engineer building a bridge, it may be intriguing (and even fruitful)
> to apply Einsteinian physics (via analogy and metaphor) to bridge-
> building, but in terms of actually engaging with the material as a
> maker, perhaps Newtonian physics are more appropriate to my the
> scale and speed of my media.
> You write: "If a true exchange is to occur across disciplines then
> the distinctive forms of technique and rhetoric in each must be
> posed equally as objects of investigation and transformation." Yes,
> with this I wholeheartedly agree.
>> Isn't physics (or any natural science) both a craft and a
>> discipline? The only way a non-physicist understands physics is
>> through the metaphors established through the rhetorical writing
>> practices (as Simon notes, full of metaphor) that hold the
>> constative knowledge of the discipline. Physics is not understood
>> by us through being skilled on the bench, which would be a much
>> more real way of understanding what physics is. I find Curt's
>> disavowal of the literary nature of any cross-disciplinary exchange
>> in favour of a "direct" "enactment" ironic for that reason. The
>> idea of physics presents itself to the non-physicist precisely
>> through analogy. Those in the sciences usually know this, usually
>> implicitly. As Thrift dryly notes,
>> "In many of the books on complexity written by practising
>> scientists there seems to be an obligatory final chapter which
>> suggests the ways in which the metaphors of complexity will
>> refigure science and will then go on to provide an explanation of
>> the whole world by providing a new worldview. Then, it's off into
>> every domain of current intellectual effort imaginable with every
>> kind of false or tawdry analogy possible, as if to prove that these
>> inheritors of systems theory can forget all about equifinality."
>> One cannot locate rhetoricity only outside scientificity. If a true
>> exchange is to occur across disciplines then the distinctive forms
>> of technique and rhetoric in each must be posed equally as objects
>> of investigation and transformation. While Curt again raises the
>> spectre of Derrida's attention to language as some example of a
>> "trap" that somehow displaces the possibility of art-science
>> collaboration, my completely contrary experience is that it is only
>> those practitioners, in the arts or the sciences, who, like
>> Derrida, fully engage the implications of technical knowledge in
>> their fields who are able to develop effective relationships with
>> others. From my point of view, anyone in the arts who disavows the
>> power of metaphor disavows a long-held pillar of our disciplinary
>> Apologies for the long drift off topic this recent thread brings,
>> but on the other hand it does seem another way of broaching a
>> related question to "analogue/digital"
>> +64 21 456 379
>> On 27/03/2011, at 6:59 AM, Simon Biggs wrote:
>>> I thought the Law of the Excluded Middle was something the Con-Dem
>>> government had invented just for us in the UK ;)
>>> But more seriously - or perhaps less so.
>>> Physics can be a great metaphor in art. It can be a great metaphor
>>> in all
>>> sorts of things. That's what physics is. So, when I propose that
>>> is digital and that each digital unit is quantum, simultaneously
>>> zero and
>>> one, I am proposing a metaphor.
>>> In this respect physics is art. Sometimes it is great art!
>>> On 26/03/2011 17:49, "Curt Cloninger" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> Hi Jon,
>>>> This Whitehead maxim seems applicable:
>>>> "The true philosophical question is, how can concrete fact exhibit
>>>> entities abstract from itself and yet participated in by its own
>>>> If insights from physics are to be applied to art, some abstraction
>>>> will necessarily have to occur (otherwise you're simply left
>>>> about physics, or reducing art to physics -- an analytic philosophy
>>>> trap). But how to fruitfully cross-apply these abstractions to art
>>>> a) slipping into grammatological wordplay (Derrida interminably
>>>> riffing on Adami, a post-structuralist trap),
>>>> b) cross-applying these new abstractions using old school
>>>> metaphysics (metaphysics which presume the existence of an
>>>> analog/digital divide in the first place).
>>>> And (beyond the philosophical), how to make art that engages with
>>>> these analogDigital conundrums (Leibniz's monadism wrestling with
>>>> Bergson's concrete duration) in ways that enact and foreground said
>>>> conundrums rather than merely re-presenting them via analogy.
>>>> Jon wrote:
>>>>> I think this is precisely the problem: that the metaphysics many
>>>>> us take for granted is inherited from outdated science textbooks.
>>>>> Physicists have known since the beginning of the last century that
>>>>> nature's building blocks are assembled in messy states of
>>>>> superposition rather than lined up in neat compartments. ("Is the
>>>>> spin up or down? It's both!") Yet so many humanists I read,
>>>>> especially among the poststructuralists, yammer on about binaries
>>>>> and dichotomies as though the Law of the Excluded Middle were an
>>>>> incontestable truth. Or, almost as bad, as though they are the
>>>>> to realize it isn't.
>>>>> Nor are all scientists immune from this outmoded determinism. Most
>>>>> biologists I speak to have heard of quantum mechanics, but
>>>>> implicitly assume that atoms are minuscule billiard balls
>>>>> predictably around, instead of some perverse foam that oozes
>>>>> contradictory states of matter when you're not looking.
>>>>> Even Newton didn't understand the metaphysical implications of his
>>>>> theory. Though a heretic by contemporaneous standards, Newton was
>>>>> still a devout Christian, and during his life wrote more about
>>>>> religion than science. He is remembered among metaphysics scholars
>>>>> for positing an absolute frame of reference for space and time, in
>> >>> contrast to Einstein's later relativistic one. Except that
>>>>> equations *are* relativistic for the scales he was considering--a
>>>>> fact he obscured by giving lip service to an absolute frame in
>>>>> to reconcile his formulas with the dogma of his time.
>>>>> The design of digital computers to date has only reinforced the
>>>>> perception that everything around us can be boiled down to 1s and
>>>>> 0s. The advent of quantum computers to which Simon alluded could
>>>>> challenge that perception--and maybe even give nonphysicists their
>>>>> first glimpse of nature with her hair down.
>>> Simon Biggs
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